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Audient ASP008-AES 8 Channel Mic Preamp with AES/EBU, S/PIF, and ADAT Interface

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Amongst audio professionals, Audient equipment is renowned for its ability to provide high performance, transparent sound, and intelligent ergonomic ...Click To Read More About This Product

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Audient sets the price/performance standard for multichannel preamps.

Amongst audio professionals, Audient equipment is renowned for its ability to provide high performance, transparent sound, and intelligent ergonomic design in a cost-effective package. The ASP008 is a compact, 1U rack mount unit featuring eight ultra-high-quality mic preamplifiers developed from the outstanding mic pre design used in the acclaimed ASP8024 recording console. (The ASP8024 rivals the sound of many "A" room consoles at a fraction of the cost.) If you're looking to add eight great preamps to your studio or portable rig for a remarkably reasonable price, we recommend a close look at the ASP008-AES with Audient's AES, S/PDIF and 48kHz ADAT light-pipe interface card for digital output directly into almost any recording system.

Audient ASP008 8 Channel Variable Input Impedance Mic Preamp, First Take:
8 channels of ultra-high-quality preamps
AES, S/PDIF, and 48kHz ADAT light-pipe output
Transparent audio with variable impedance for tone shaping
Electronically balanced XLR I/O and two instrument DIs

Ultra-high-quality preamps

The design uses an 8 transistor discrete Class A front end with extended bandwidth and a noise floor close to the theoretical Johnson limit. (Johnson noise is random white noise generated by thermal agitation of electrons, and is the limiting minimum noise any circuit can attain at a given temperature.) Carefully chosen close tolerance components are used to achieve high Common Mode Rejection at all gain settings (eliminates unwanted RF and electromagnet field-generated noise allowing long cable runs) and distortion is minimized to less than 0.001% at 20dB gain and +10dBu output. This outstanding technical performance delivers a mic amp with incredible transparency and detail without coloration or other unwanted artifacts.

ADAT/AES digital output

The ADAT digital interface card provides ADAT digital outputs at either 44.1 or 48kHz sample rates (selectable on the front panel) for all 8 channels on a single lightpipe output connector. The outputs can be set to 16-, 20-, or 24- bit depth using the front panel controls. The AES card uses a 9-Pin female D-sub type connector to provide the required 8 digital outputs (in 4 pairs - pair 1 carries channels 1/2 etc.) at 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz sample rates (selectable on the front panel). Separate fan-out cables are available with XLR terminations for AES and RCA-phono connections for SPDIF. AES format is selected when the associated switch is in its normal (released) state. Depressing this switch will set the outputs to SPDIF format. The outputs can be set to 16/20 or 24 bit depth using the front panel controls. A BNC along with an INT/EXT function select switch is also provided on the digital output card. With the switch released, the ASP008 will run off its internal clock generator. Depressing the switch allows a master word clock to be connected via the BNC connector enabling the ASP008 converters to be sync'd to an external source. The front-panel-mounted Lock LED will illuminate when the unit is locked.

Transparent audio with variable impedance

Audient's design philosophy as far as sound quality is concerned is to make the most transparent sounding preamps possible. According to founder and designer Dave Dearden, colored preamps tend to become one-trick-ponies, since that color may not be appropriate for every recording application. However, with transparent preamps, you have the option of adding color later on. To achieve this, the ASP008's preamps boast an ultra-wide frequency response of -0.3dB @10Hz to -3dB @300kHz at unity gain, and a Total Harmonic Distortion rating of better than 0.007% at 1kHz any gain setting. If you know your specs, you know that this is pretty incredible, especially when you realize that you only find specs such as this on single-channel preamps costing twice as much as the Audient 8channel ASP008. Each microphone amp on the Audient ASP008 also features switchable input impedance, which allows you to explore subtle variations in microphone character and achieve the best performance for your mics.

Electronically balanced XLR I/O

The ASP008 has been designed and developed to provide highly robust system integration interfaces, allowing worry-free system hook-up under the most demanding situations. Inputs and outputs are implemented using advanced electronically balanced topologies and are fitted with extensive RFI rejection networks. Additionally, Channels 1 and 2 have front panel mounted unbalanced high impedance jack inputs to allow instruments to be directly connected to the ASP008. Electronically balanced microphone inputs are provided on 3pin XLR female connectors with Pin 2 Hot and Pin 3 Cold. Pin 1 is permanently connected to the ASP008 chassis and thereby to the safety earth. Line level inputs and outputs are provided on 25 pin D Sub female type connectors with 4-40 screw thread jack posts. Wiring is in accordance with the TASCAMTM DA88 convention.

All channels feature 'soft start' 48V phantom power, switchable input impedance, 25-250Hz hi-pass filter, line input selection, and phase reverse. Channels 1 and 2 also feature a -20dB attenuator and a high-impedance Instrument/DI input on a front panel mounted jack. LEDs provide indication of signal present and overload.

Who is Audient and what makes them so cool

While British-based Audient is fairly new on the scene (1998), the company's founders have quite a long and respectable pedigree. Co-founder David Dearden has worked with David Manley (original owner of Manley Laboratories), Eddie Offord (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes), and was involved in building a custom console and private studio for John Lennon for his Imagine sessions, followed by studios for George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Gus Dudgeon (producer, Elton John, David Bowie), and Chris Squire of Yes. After three years with MCI and two years with Soundcraft, David Dearden and Gareth Davies (also from Soundcraft) formed DDA (Dearden Davies Associates), a maker of high-quality analog consoles. When DDA became part of the Klark Teknik Group, he also designed the Midas XL200 live sound console and did the initial concept and design of the Midas H1000 console. Midas consoles are generally acknowledged by FOH professions to be one of the, if not the best live sound consoles in existence. In 1997 Dearden rejoined with Gareth Davies to form Audient, whose products are typified by high performance, intelligent ergonomics, and transparent sound quality. Notable users of Audient gear include Abbey Road Studios, Pete Townshend's Eel Pie Recording, and England's Royal Academy of Music.

  • Discrete Class A front end
  • Switchable input impedance
  • Two Instrument inputs
  • Variable Hi-Pass filter on all inputs
  • Line level input on all channels
  • Phase invert on all channels
  • Signal status indication
  • ADAT, AES/EBU and S/PDIF outputs with selectable Sample rate and Dither

Give your studio eight channels of high-quality transparent audio that rivals the sound of "A" room consoles at an amazingly low price.

  • 48V: Phantom Power On/Off with 'soft start' feature to avoid thumps
  • INST/DI: Ch 1&2 only. Selects instrument jack with input impedance > 1M ohm
  • -20dB: 20dB Pad (CH1 &2 ONLY)
  • LINE: Selects Line level input with input impedance of 10k ohm
  • Polarity: Polarity invert
  • Filter: Selects 12dB/octave Hi-Pass filter - range 25Hz to 250Hz
  • PK: Indicates signal levels within 4dB of clipping
  • SIG: Indicates signal levels above -25dBu
  • I/P Z: Input impedance select; 200/1200/5000 ohms
  • GAIN: MIC/DI 0 to 60dB. LINE -20 to 40dB
  • Sample Rate: Selectable 44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz
  • Dither: Selectable 16/20/24-bit
  • MIC Input: Electronically balanced XLR with variable input impedance
  • LINE Input: Electronically balanced 25 pin D wired to DA88 standard
  • INST/DI Input: Unbalanced front panel mounted jack
  • LINE Output: Electronically balanced 25 pin D wired to DA88 standard
  • Digital output: 48/96kHz AES, S/PDIF and 48kHz ADAT light-pipe.
  • Ext Word Clock: BNC
  • Maximum input/output level: +21.5dBu
  • THD: Typically better than 0.007% at 1kHz any gain setting
  • EIN: Better than -127.5dB @ 60dB gain/ref 150 ohms
  • Frequency Response: -0.3dB @10Hz to -3dB @300kHz at unity gain
  • CMRR: Better than 75dB at 1kHz and 60dB gain
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 18.9" x 1.73" x 10.94", (480mm x 44mm x 278mm)
  • Weight: 4.5Kg
  • Power consumption: 40 watts
See All Audient Microphone Preamps
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